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CEO of a US-based global brand threatened

David O'Sullivan
Written by David O'Sullivan

The Problem

The CEO of a US-based global brand was receiving threats from a hostile former employee based in the UK. Lawyers representing the client were still determining how best to respond to the communications received.

A UK based former employee began a campaign of threats and misinformation directed at the US based CEO of a global brand. The former employee misrepresented his status and background and began making unfounded allegations of the devaluing of his pension. The former employee began to make increasingly specific threats including referring to the CEO’s home in the US. The CEO did not know, nor had he had any engagement with the former employee but was understandably concerned about the safety of his family.

The Solution

We conducted an initial investigation reviewing the former employee’s social media to ascertain whether we could verify any of his statements made to the CEO. We also wanted to understand the level of reputational harm the former employee was causing to the company. We identified that the former employee wasn’t making any specific references to his grievances, however his social media did contradict some references to his lifestyle limitations.

We then conducted a forensic psychological analysis of the communication, social media posts and online presence.

The Outcome

Due the fact that the former employee was UK based and there was no reference or evidence of any travel plans the level of risk was assessed as low. The forensic psychological report identified a narcistic personality disorder. This then directed the communication and engagement strategy and the level of risk posed.

From the client:Having a situation of hostile social media against a Senior Executive from our firm, our legal department from our home office outside the UK was gravely concerned about the intent and possibility of violence on behalf of the individual behind the hostile and derogatory comments on social media sites. Reaching out to Defuse and the expertise of Phillip Grindell and his team of experts in behaviour sciences, we were provided with an in-depth psychological profile of the individual and what actions he may escalate to if confronted with legal and law enforcement action. Defuse reviewed the information the firm provided as well as analysed the social media, determining that the possibility of direct violent threat was minimal, if at all, and through their expert analysis, determined that there were extenuating circumstances driving this activity, such as alcohol or drug involvement. Understanding this, our legal department felt more confident in taking immediate law enforcement action and confronting the individual directly, which had a positive effect and apologies from the individual. This situation was resolved without further incident. This result was due to the professional approach and analysis that Defuse provided to our firm. Highly recommended should any company, big or small, have situations requiring professional analysis of threat and risk mitigation
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